Consumers win when companies compete. But why isn’t there more choice when selecting an internet provider?
Competition Drives Choice
When companies compete, consumers get better prices, improved service and most importantly they get the benefit of choice. This dynamic has been most true in the world of technology, yet most consumers have few real choices when it comes to internet service.
Typically, there are three options for internet service:
- A legacy cable provider – such as Comcast
- A legacy phone provider – such as AT&T
- A satellite provider – for more rural areas
Without much choice in providers, consumers are often left with poor service and high prices. But why, in a country that fosters competition and innovation, are we stuck with these legacy providers in our neighborhoods?
The internet has evolved over the last few decades from dial-up connections to broadband services that leverage existing cable TV and telephone networks. But today, the internet is the heartbeat of our homes. It’s what we use, not just every day, but every hour of every day for work, education, entertainment, home security, and more. Internet usage continues to grow by 30% or more per year, and our internet needs now often exceed the capability of these legacy cable and telephone networks.
Fiber Optic Networks Add Choice
The good news is that there is a new choice: fiber optic technology. This service, called fiber to the home or FTTH, is breaking ground at a record pace around the United States and providing consumers with a new option which is purpose-built for the internet. Fiber optic networks transmit on a thin glass fiber can which delivers gigabit and higher speeds for both upload and download to handle all your work, learning, and entertainment tasks. In addition, fiber networks are more reliable, able to handle environmental changes such as temperature or weather, and take less electricity to use.
Adding a fiber optic network to your neighborhood provides you and your neighbors with more choice. However, not everyone uses the internet the same way. Some may prefer traditional cable tv or a basic internet connection that allows them to check their email. Others may work from home and need a connection that delivers strong video conferencing and the ability to upload or download large files in seconds. And some may have very sophisticated needs with dozens of connected devices, smart tvs or camera and security systems.
Promoting Choice In Your Neighborhood
There can be obstacles to getting a fiber optic network to your home. To attract a fiber optic provider, it’s helpful to understand if your home is in a community with public or private roads. If there is a security gate at the entrance to your neighborhood, then you are probably in a private road community. In this case, you’ll want to contact your homeowner’s or property owner’s association to ask about getting a fiber optic network built in your community. The association will need to grant “the right of entry” to the fiber optic provider which allows the provider to install the network through the neighborhood.
If there is no security gate, it’s likely you’re in a public access neighborhood, so the provider usually only needs your county’s permission to build in your neighborhood. You can start by looking up your address with your chosen provider. If your address isn’t available in their network, they should give you an opportunity to ask to be considered for an upcoming build.
You and your neighbors deserve to make individual choices appropriate to your needs, so be careful of bulk deals that select one service for an entire neighborhood and lock you into that service for up to ten years. While they may promise to reduce your monthly spend, it also limits your choice of both provider and services, potentially making you pay for services you don’t need.
IQ Fiber believes in the power of choice and does not require a bulk agreement.
Sign up here to let us know that you want more choice for your neighborhood.
Tell your homeowners or property association to sign up here to get more information about adding fiber to your community..